The phrase is the invention of Eric Weinstein, a brilliant West Coast mathematician and economist who has observed and participated in part of this trend. He has also seen up close the way in which the world now discovers otherwise forbidden ideas and opinions. Until last year, Eric’s brother, Bret, was a biology professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. A Bernie Sanders supporter and life-long leftist, Bret also came to national attention because of a stand he made.
Since the 1970s, the college had celebrated a ‘Day of Absence’ in which black students and faculty met off campus. Last year, this was flipped and all white people were ordered off campus for the day. Bret Weinstein refused, explaining his objection carefully, liberally and lucidly. Some student activists accused him of racism and he got little support from his cowed fellow professors. Weinstein and the college ended up parting ways.
But the story gained serious internet and eventually even some mainstream media attention. Today, Bret speaks on podcasts and interviews across YouTube and other media and gets his views on biology and society out to countless numbers of people around the world. Far more people than if he had stayed at Evergreen and submitted to the pieties and dogmas of the era. As with [Jordan] Peterson, an audience came for the scandal and then stayed for the show.
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